Roman Catholic Church

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Vatican Responds to Damning Clergy Sex Abuse Report

Pope is on victims' side, spokesperson says

(Newser) - Two days after the release of the grand jury report on clergy sex abuse in Pennsylvania's Catholic dioceses, the Vatican has responded, CNN reports. "Regarding the report made public in Pennsylvania this week, there are two words that can express the feelings faced with these horrible crimes: shame... More »

Boy Forced to Pose Naked on Cross: Clergy Sex Abuse Report

Hundreds of 'predator priests' named in grand jury report

(Newser) - A long-awaited grand jury report examining clergy sex abuse in Pennsylvania was released Tuesday, and it lists more than 300 "predator priests" accused of abusing more than 1,000 child victims over a period of seven decades. The almost 900-page report also has harsh words for Roman Catholic Church... More »

Catholic Diocese's Bold Move: Releasing and Erasing Names

71 people accused of child sex abuse in Harrisburg diocese named Wednesday

(Newser) - A Pennsylvania bishop made a bold move on Wednesday: He released the names of 71 people who PennLive reports have been "credibly accused" of sexually abusing children since 1947 in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg, which covers much of central Pennsylvania. But Bishop Ronald Gainer is also taking... More »

World's No. 3 Catholic Faces Sexual Assault Trial

George Pell pleads not guilty

(Newser) - A judge has ordered Cardinal George Pell to stand trial on sexual assault charges, making him the most senior Catholic ever to be tried in connection with the church's sex scandals. Pell—Australia's most senior Catholic and, as Vatican treasurer, the church's No. 3 official worldwide—formally... More »

Child Abuse Probe Attacks Catholic Priests' Celibacy

Australian commission slams 'catastrophic failures'

(Newser) - An Australian inquiry into child abuse on Friday recommended that the Catholic Church lift its demand of celibacy from clergy and that priests be prosecuted for failing to report evidence of pedophilia heard in the confessional. Australia's Royal Commission into Institution Responses to Child Sexual Abuse delivered its final... More »

Priests, Scholars Issue Measure Last Employed in 14th Century

They accuse Pope Francis of spreading heresy

(Newser) - Several dozen tradition-minded Roman Catholic theologians, priests, and academics have formally accused Pope Francis of spreading heresy with his 2016 opening to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics. In a 25-page letter delivered to Francis last month and provided Saturday to the AP , the 62 signatories issued a "filial correction"... More »

Fatima Siblings Will Become Saints

Children who saw visions of Mary will be canonized, church says

(Newser) - The two young siblings who Catholics believe saw a vision of the Madonna six times in the Portuguese village of Fatima in 1917 will be made saints, the Vatican said Thursday, per Reuters . Francisco and Jacinta Marto, along with their cousin Lucia Dos Santos, said they received three messages or... More »

Pope: Married Men May Be Solution to 'Enormous Problem'

Francis considering letting already wed men become ordained as priests

(Newser) - The Roman Catholic Church has an "enormous problem," Pope Francis told German newspaper Die Zeit in an interview published Thursday: a dearth of clergy. To solve that issue, CNN reports, the pontiff is considering tapping into "viri probati"—"tested men," or married ones. What... More »

Pope Francis Makes It Easier to Forgive Abortion

All priests can now absolve the 'grave sin'

(Newser) - Pope Francis temporarily gave Roman Catholic priests the power to forgive abortion during the Church's "Holy Year of Mercy," which ended Sunday. In a letter released Monday, however, the pope "extended" the right to priests, suggesting it would last at least until the end of his... More »

Mexican Priest Alive, but With 'Notable Signs of Torture'

Rev. Jose Luis Sanchez Ruiz had been abducted 3 days earlier

(Newser) - Since September, four Roman Catholic priests in Mexico have been abducted—and only one has come back alive. That priest, the Rev. Jose Luis Sanchez Ruiz, was found "dumped, with notable signs of torture" three days after he disappeared from the state of Veracruz, a bishop tells the AP... More »

Amid Easter Joy, Pope Laments 'Blind, Brutal Terrorism'

Francis mingles with crowds at Vatican, despite threats

(Newser) - Pope Francis tempered his Easter Sunday message of Christian hope with a denunciation of "blind" terrorism, recalling victims of attacks in Europe, Africa, and elsewhere, as well as expressing dismay that people fleeing war or poverty are being denied welcome as European countries squabble over the refugee crisis. Tens... More »

Mother Teresa Will Be a Saint

Pope Francis announces her canonization will be held on Sept. 4

(Newser) - It's official: Mother Teresa will be made a saint of the Catholic Church at a ceremony on Sept. 4, reports Reuters . Pope Francis, who signed off on the missionary's second miracle in December, announced the move at a meeting of cardinals on Tuesday. Teresa died in 1997 at... More »

Vatican to Catholics: Stop Trying to Convert Jews

Help them fight anti-Semitism instead: new report

(Newser) - The Vatican is taking steps toward fixing its long-troubled history with the Jewish faith with the Thursday release of a 10,000-word document that instructs Catholics to help Jews fight anti-Semitism instead of trying to convert them, Reuters reports. The Commission for Religious Relations With the Jews explained that Catholicism... More »

Pope: Priests Can Forgive Women Who've Had Abortions

Francis grants absolution power during Holy Year for 'painful decision'

(Newser) - Abortion is one of the sins that mandates automatic excommunication in the Roman Catholic Church, but for the Holy Year of Mercy that begins Dec. 8, Pope Francis says priests can, at their discretion, absolve women for terminating pregnancies, Reuters reports. "Many … believe that they have no other... More »

Christian ISIS Captive Dies a Muslim— Now What?

Photojournalist James Foley apparently converted during captivity

(Newser) - Many Roman Catholics saw journalist James Foley—who was kidnapped, tortured, and beheaded by ISIS —as a symbol of enduring faith under horrible circumstances. Then it came out that he had converted to Islam in captivity. Now what? "The answer is we can’t assess it," says... More »

Vatican Probes Own Child-Porn Cases

(Newser) - The Vatican investigated two cases of child pornography possession in the past year, officials said yesterday. The chief prosecutor of the Vatican city state's criminal tribunal, Gian Piero Milano, cited the two cases in a speech summarizing the tribunal's work in 2014. The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico... More »

Pope Francis: Big Families Are Good

Softens his comment that Catholics needn't breed 'like rabbits'

(Newser) - Pope Francis praised big families today as a gift from God, after his comments that Catholics don't have to breed "like rabbits" made headlines this week. Francis said numerous children don't cause poverty in the developing world, as some have suggested, and that the real cause of... More »

Pope Francis Beatifies Paul VI

Says 'God is not afraid of new things'

(Newser) - Pope Francis today beatified Pope Paul VI, concluding the remarkable meeting of bishops debating family issues that drew parallels to the tumultuous reforms of the Second Vatican Council which Paul oversaw and implemented. Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI was on hand for the Mass. The bishops failed to reach consensus on... More »

Vatican Warming Toward Gay and Divorced Catholics

Synod urges Church to appreciate 'positive aspects of civil unions,' 'gifts' of gay Catholics

(Newser) - The Vatican, in the latest sign that this is not your daddy's Catholic Church , appears to be opening its arms to gay and divorced Catholics, urging its priests to make "courageous pastoral choices" that are inclusive to a bevy of family models outside the traditional one. The shift... More »

Miracle Credited to Pope Paul VI

He's set for beatification in October

(Newser) - No Pope Left Behind? Francis is rapidly shuffling his predecessors toward sainthood, yesterday attributing a miracle to Pope Paul VI in a move that puts him on the path to canonization—just after last month's canonization of John Paul II and John XXIII . Paul, who was elected in 1963... More »

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